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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2001
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Linda McGinity Jackson,
502-587-4603
Kathy Keadle,
502-852-7504

LOUISVILLE-BASED ABIOCOR SURGEONS UPDATE PATIENTS' PROGRESS

(Louisville, Ky.) - The University of Louisville surgeons who implanted the first and second AbioCor implantable hearts on July 2 and September 13 at Jewish Hospital issued a statement today regarding the progress of each patient. Drs. Laman Gray and Rob Dowling continue to be optimistic regarding the recovery of their patients, Bob Tools and Tom Christerson.

Bob Tools, 59, Franklin, Kentucky

"Bob is doing just great," Dowling said. "He has continued to take trips outside the hospital, and he truly enjoys that. It gives him a lot to look forward to." Dr. Gray added that, 96 days after surgery, Mr. Tools continues to undergo daily rehab at Frazier Rehab Institute and his lungs, kidneys and liver continue to function normally.

Tom Christerson, 70, Central City, Kentucky

"As we explained in the early days of Mr. Tools' experience with the AbioCor," Gray said, "it is not at all unusual for patients with end-stage CHF to be on and off ventilator support as they recover from major surgery. Mr. Christerson has actually needed much less time on ventilator support than did Mr. Tools, but this week he has needed the ventilator to rest his body for its ongoing recovery." Gray continued, "We anticipate removing him from ventilator support in the next few days."

The surgeons have no immediate plans for individual interviews or a news briefing. Plans for such an update will be communicated as soon as they are available.

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Jewish Hospital is among the top 10 cardiac centers in the United States and, along with the University of Louisville, is dedicated to excellence in patient care, research and education. University of Louisville surgeons at Jewish Hospital have performed many heart care "firsts," including Kentucky's first heart transplant, the world's first heart transplant following the use of a Thoratec bi-ventricular assist device, the world's first endoscopic saphenous vein harvest and the first ventricular remodeling in the region.

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Jewish Hospital University of Louisville Health Sciences Center